Tag Archives: Kyo Maclear

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Much Needed Book Joy

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It’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week. Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers

Well, it’s been quite a week.  Lots of emotion, lots of fear, lots of unknowns…  I found myself being drawn into the negative events on the news and became swept up by it all.

And so, this weekend I turned off the news and turned to books… A distraction? Perhaps. But reading these brand new picture books brought me pieces of joy, as they always do. And joy was what I needed this week.

(A big thank you to Raincoast Books for sending me a box of joy!)

How to Be A Hero – Florence Parry Heide

What does it mean to be a hero?  Fame?  Cover of a magazine?   What does it take?  Bravery? Brains? Kissing a princess?   Gideon learns a good hero keeps their eyes open to the world.  Empowering, delightful and love the boy-centered fairy tale.

The Storybook Knight – Helen Docherty

“Leo was a gentle knight in thought and word and deed. While other knights liked fighting, Leo liked to sit and read.”

A charming story with the perfect message – violence is not the answer – books are!  With a gentle rhyme, we meet a Leo, the mouse, whose parents would rather him be swinging his sword rather than turning a page.  So Leo heads off to tame the  dangerous dragon… with a stack of books!   Love!

  The Wish Tree – Kyo Maclear

Sweet seasonal book with a tender message about believing in something when no one else seems to.  Poetic text and lovely illustrations.

Good Morning, City – Pat Kiernan

This book is written by Pat Kiernan, well-known morning anchor on NY1, New York City’s 24-hour news channel.  (Being from the west coast of Canada, I was not familiar with him, but apparently he was born in Calgary!)  It describes a city waking up and all the activities from early to mid-morning.  I really enjoyed the short, poetic descriptions combined with sound words. A great choice for visualizing and is now on my list of anchor books for when I teach onomatopoeia!  Beautiful illustrations with amazing use of light gradually brightening on each page. This is definitely one to check out!

Sleep Tight Farm – A Farm Prepares for Winter – Eugenie Doyle

Gentle, lyrical story about a farm getting ready for winter. Helps children understand this season of the year, and how the work of one season prepares for another. Stunning illustrations.  Lovely author’s note at the back.

Real Cowboys – Kate Hoefler

I love this gentle telling of the wonders of the west.  Soft poetic text and lovely illustrations.  I really liked the focus on positive personality traits: real cowboys cry; they are good listeners, willing to ask for help, patient and hard workers.  This book is quiet and moving with a subtle, but important lesson on empathy. 

Before Morning – Joyce Sidman

I adore everything Joyce Sidman writes… so was excited to see her new book about a family’s anticipation of a “snow day” following a snow storm.   This book is one you will need to pour over – with much of the story being told through the details in the illustrations – perfect for inferring!  I appreciated that Joyce Sidman includes an explanation of what an “invocation” poem is (poem that invites something to happen) inspiriting students to write their own!  Gorgeous “scratch-board” illustrations by Beth Krommes.

First Snow – Bomi Park

This book, translated from Korean, is quiet and charming, and captures the magic of snow and childhood wonder.  Simple, soft, and beautiful. 

Samson in the Snow – Philip C. Stead

Another gentle story of friendship from Philip Stead, this one about a woolly mammoth, a bird, a mouse and some dandelions.  Oh, how I love the quiet, gentle, kind and hopeful way he tells a story.  Gorgeous illustrations.

It Is Not Time for Sleeping ( A Bedtime Story) – Lisa Graff

Rhythmic, cumulative text describes a young child going through his nightly bedtime routines.  A perfect bedtime story – but also great for making connections in an early primary class.  Charming illustrations by Lauren Castillo. 

Thanks for stopping by!  Which books have caught your eye?

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Filed under 2016 releases, Family, Friendship, It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, making connections, New Books, Winter Books

It’s Monday What Are You Reading? New Picture Books for Fall – Part 2

IMWAYR

It’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week. Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers

The Way to School – Rosemary McCarney and Plan International

Just what would you go through to get to school? This stunning book explores how, in some countries, children often have to travel through disaster zones, cross dangerous waters, climb mountains and maneuver zip-lines just to get into the classroom. Some of them even carry their own desk!   The determination in the children’s expressions and in their body language as they make their way to school would be perfect for practicing inferring. An important book to share with children and one that could stimulate a conversation about the desire for education and the physical commitment so many children face each day.  Simple text and stunning photographs – this book is a gem!  Proceeds from the sale of this book go to Plan Canada, one of the largest international development agencies in the world.

The Good Little Book – Kyo Maclear

I admit that I got a little teary-eyed reading this book… It is a classic love story of sorts: Boy finds book, boy falls in love with book, boy takes book everywhere, boy loses book… But truly this is the story about the transformation that books can have in our lives: the adventures, the relationships, and the memories. Amazing whimsical illustrations. This is definitely a book to start off your school year.

The Little Book of Big Fears – Monica Arnaldo

Simple, rhyming text introduces 16 children who share their fears – from raccoons to the dark.  Alphabet book of sorts – but the missing letters spell out GUTSY and BRAVE.  Perfect book for making connections with K-2!  My only thought was that there was no reference to how you can conquer these fears – but an important “after reading” discussion!

Waiting – Kevin Henkes

Love. Love. Love.  I love this book so much.  Soft, simple, quiet, wise, gentle, whimsical – Kevin Henkes is a master storyteller.  Waiting is about five toy friends who sit on the windowsill of a child’s home waiting for their turn at play.  I already have a plan for reading this book to a primary class, focusing on visualizing:  read through, without interruption and allow the students to delight in the sounds of the words and let their minds imagine.  After the book is finished, I will ask them, “Hmmmm, what do you think the friends are waiting for?  Turn and talk to your partner.”   Hug this book.  Love this book.  It’s “waiting” to be read.

Friendshape – Amy Krouse Rosenthal

 This latest book by the clever, creative Amy Krouse Rosenthal, about the friends who “shape” our lives, is filled with fun word play, great illustrations and would make a wonderful read-aloud for a primary classroom!  Not my very favorite Rosenthal book but certainly worth a look!

With A Friend By Your Side – Barbara Kerley

National Geographic photographer Barbara Kerley captures images of friends from around the world and pairs them with simple, touching text.  Wonderful book for making connections and also learning about different places in the world.  Map and background information about each photo are included in the back.

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That’s (NOT) Mine – Anna King

Two cute fuzzy bears want the same chair but they do not want to share. Great illustrations, a lesson on manners and a lot of laughs! 

Lizard from the Park – Mark Pett

Adorable story of a young boy who finds a lizard egg in the park.  Crack!  It hatches into a pet lizard… who grows… and grows.. .and grows!  Charming illustrations by the author/illustrator of The Boy and the Airplane and The Girl and Bicycle.  Lovely surprise ending!

I (Don’t) Like Snakes – Nicola Davies

Fun blend of fiction and non-fiction about snakes.  Although the narrator is convinced that she doesn’t like snakes, for every negative she identifies, her snake-loving family come up with the positives!  Interesting information and great illustrations!  I love anything Nicola Davies writes! 

Bug in A Vacuum – Melanie Watt

This clever picture book explores the 5 stages of grief through the eyes of a bug who gets sucked up by a vacuum.    Sounds strange, but it’s brilliant and emotional and the illustrations are hilarious.  I would definitely read this to older students.  Another winner by the author of Scaredy Squirrel.

Thanks for stopping by!  Would love to know which book(s) has caught your eye?

 

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Filed under 2015 releases, Connect, It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, making connections, New Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Summer Preview Part 1 (Or: I can’t wait to get my hands on these new books!)

IMWAYR

It’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week. Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers

Although most of my Monday posts feature books I have actually read, I’ve been keeping track of some new titles that I’m eagerly awaiting to be released.  So this week, I’ve decided to let you in on my some of the books I’m excited to get my hands on when they do come out.  Most books listed here will be released between June and August.   I’ve already done a few “pre-orders” of some of these and the countdown is on!

23310161The Day The Crayons Came Home – Drew Daywalt

I am beyond excited to read this companion to the block buster, best seller The Day the Crayons Quit.  Apparently, Duncan is now dealing with a whole group of crayons who have been lost in strange places like behind the couch and melted on the window sill!  Will it be as good as the first?  I can’t wait to find out!

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Billy’s Booger – William Joyce

The “fictionalized picture book memoir”, loosely based on an incident in William Joyce’s life when a young “Bill”, who is constantly distracted in class and spends his class time drawing,  is encouraged by his teacher librarian to enter a book writing contest.  He writes about the worlds’ biggest and best booger!  Another anticipated brilliant book by William Joyce!

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The Specific Ocean – Kyo MacLear

I was captivated by the title of this book – and have enjoyed this author’s previous books (Spork, Julia, Child).  It is about a girl who would rather stay in the city with her friends in the summer, but ends up making a deep connection to the ocean.   Such a great title!

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Book – David Miles

Was drawn in by the title, of course – but on a closer look have made this a “must have” book that celebrates literature in a world of gadgets, passwords and Youtube videos.  “With soft, warm storytelling and stunning, whimsical illustrations, Book embarks the reader on an imaginative journey through the literary lands of fact and fiction.” 

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Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada – Jimmy Fallon

Ok – so I will admit that I have a bit of a crush on Jimmy Fallon.  He is so darn funny and makes me laugh every time I watch his show.  So I’m looking forward to reading his new book about how father’s wage a secret campaign to ensure that their babies’ first word is “Dada”.

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Float – Daniel Mryares

I love wordless picture books and this one looks like it will be delightful.  A boy, his newspaper boat, and a rainy day adventure.  Apparently a “how to” at the back for making your own boat is included!

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The Blue Whale – Jenni Desmond

There is already quite a buzz about this engaging nonfiction book that is filled with relatable facts about the largest living creature on our planet.  The illustrations depict not only the facts, but also the story of the narrator, a young boy who is reading about the whales.  This makes me think of the layered illustrations in The Bear in the Book.  This book comes out tomorrow!  Can’t wait!

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Buddy and Earl – Maureen Fergus

There was something about this cover that caught my eye.  This is the first in an apparent series about a dog and his hedgehog friend.  “Their friendship is tender and loyal, and their adventures are funny and imaginative.”  I’m keeping my eye out for Buddy and Earl!  Cuteness!

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The Little Gardener – Emily Hughes

A sweet looking story about a determined little gardener.  The illustrations look amazing!

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Bike, On, Bear! – Cynthia Liu

An over-thinking and over-achieving bear learns to ride a bike.   The illustrations look adorable.

Thanks for stopping by!  Which soon-to-be-released book has caught your eye?

Look for more previews next week!

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Filed under It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, New Books, Preview New Releases

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – New Books for Summer Reading!

IMWAYR

It’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week.  Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers

Well, summer is officially here and I’m enjoying the slower pace of life!  Time to relax, get to my very long “to do” list and enjoy reading lots of books!  After a recent visit to my favorite local book store, and a delivery of a few ARC’s – I’m happy to share some of the new books I have been enjoying!

 Kicking a Ball – Allan Ahlberg

With the excitement of the Fifa World Cup – this book caught my attention!  I am also a fan of Allan Ahlberg (The Jolly Postman;  Each Peach, Pear, Plum).  This wonderful rhyming story is about the simple joy felt by a boy kicking a soccer ball.  ‘Not eating an ice-cream Or riding a bike No – kicking a ball Is what I like!”  Sebastien Braun’s illustrations are delightful!  I think this would be a perfect anchor book to read aloud to a young primary class and certainly one that many will make connections to!

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My Pet Book – Peter Staake

Last summer, Peter Staake’s moving wordless picture book Bluebird was getting a lot of attention for its powerful depiction of loneliness, bullying, and the importance of friendship.  In his latest book, Staake takes a lighter approach in a heart-warming story of a young boy who choses a red book to be his perfect pet!  (He does not care for cats or dogs!)  I LOVE the idea that a book can be a pet!  The book is told in clever rhyme and is a joy to read aloud. I am already visualizing my class in September dragging around their favorite “pet book” by a leash around the classroom!  

Nancy Knows – Cybele Young

I so enjoyed Canadian writer and illustrator Cybele Young‘s Ten Birds (which won the Governor General’s award) and her follow up Ten Birds Meet a Monster, so was excited to see her new book Nancy Knows. Wow!  This book is a whimsical feast for the eyes!  It is the charming story of an elephant who remember lots of things, except the very thing she is trying to remember. Each captivating spread features fantastic miniature paper sculptures – it’s an extraordinary work of art as well as a delightful story of a young elephant.

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Julia, Child – Kyo Maclear

This fictional story by another Canadian author is apparently loosely inspired by the life and spirit of the real Julia Child.  It tells the story of two best friends – Julia and Simca who take cooking classes.  They begin to discover that the adult world is mundane and colorless and so decide they never want to grow up.  They begin to create recipes for “growing young” – not in a physical way but spiritually – a joie de vivre!   This book is a celebration of youth and being young at heart no matter what your age is.  Julie Morstad’s (How To, When I Was Small)  delightful illustrations are a perfect match for this book.  I’m not sure if it’s a book aimed at adults or children but it’s certainly worth a look!

The Memory Tree – Britta Teckentrup

Get your Kleenex ready as this book made me tear up a few times.  When fox is dies, his friends gather to share stories and special memories they each shared with fox.  As they share their memories, a tree begins to grow, sheltering and protecting the animals like Fox.  This book is gentle and comforting and would be a wonderful book to share with any child who may be experiencing the grief of loss.  Beautiful and touching.

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The Eagle and the Wren – Jane Goodall

As soon as I saw animal activist Jane Goodall’s name on this book I knew it would be great!  This story is based on one of her favorite childhood fables.  All the birds are arguing over who can fly the highest so owl devises a contest to see just who can.   Eagle wins the contest, flying higher than any other bird, but as it turns out, wren was hiding and riding along in Eagle’s feathers.  He begins his flight where eagle stops and soars even higher.  So who won the contest?   I can see how this book could be used to stimulate many questions and great discussions.  I love how Jane Goodall writes in a non-condescending way and is able to weave bird facts into the story.  I also loved the importance of working together to help each other achieve great things.  The illustrations are amazing!  This is definitely one I look forward to sharing with my class this fall.

Boom Snot Twitty

Boom, Snot and Twitty – Doreen Cronin

Besides the catchy title, I so love Renata Liwska’s illustrations (The Quiet Book) that I was immediately drawn to this book.  It is the story of three friends – Boom the Bear, Snot the Snail and Twitty the bird, each of whom look at the world differently. Boom wants adventure, Twitty likes things “as is” and Snot prefers to see if there will be better options. When a storm arrives, each deals with it in a slightly different way and eventually they collaborate to deal with it together.   I enjoyed this book and the charming illustrations, but for some reason (perhaps from the lively title?)  I had expected something a little more lively and humorous.  Instead, it was simple and soft but fell a little flat.  With “snot” in the title – I expected to laugh more!  I did like the theme of respecting each others’ differences and collaboration.

The Museum of Extraordinary Things

The Museum of Extraordinary Things – Alice Hoffman

This summer, my book club summer is reading The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman.  We all enjoyed her previous book The Dove Keepers and so far, I am enjoying this one even better.  It is a love story that takes place in New York City in the early 1900’s.  It is the story of Coralie, the daughter of a sinister museum curator who collects and exhibits “freaks” in his Coney Island side show.  Coralie is an exceptional swimmer and when she turns 13, her father creates an exhibit for her as the “Human Mermaid”, making her stay underwater in a life-size tank for hours at a time.  The book flips between her story and the story of a rugged photographer named Eddie Cohen, a Russian immigrant who has run away from his father.  These two have only just met, but I’m anticipating their lives to become intertwined as the story continues.   So far, I am completely drawn into this story – the writing is excellent and I’ve made many T-T connections to The Night Circus and Water For Elephants.  A captivating story so far!

Well – that’s it for now!  Thanks for stopping by and I’d love to know which book has caught your eye!

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Filed under Connect, It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, New Books, Picture Book, Read-Aloud